Toward an Anti-Inclusivist Right

[The ninth in a series on inclusiveness.]

Western societies treat liberal ideals of freedom, equality, diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness as uniquely authoritative. Those ideals increasingly trump all other considerations and silence all criticism.

As a practical matter, they mean rule by experts, bureaucrats, and commercial interests that promise to give everyone what he wants, as much and as equally as possible. Other authorities aren’t rational and neutral enough.

Under such circumstances, the function of representative institutions becomes legitimating decisions already reached in other ways. Traditional less formal institutions such as family and religion become strictly private in significance. The point of multiculturalism and similar tendencies is to keep them so by destroying the public relevance of every particular tradition.

No sane, educated, and well-intentioned person sees a problem with such tendencies. Let each do what he wants, subject to the equal right of others, and let those who know best decide the specifics of public measures, subject to popular approval. What could be more rational and right? Anything else would be ignorant and oppressive.

Or so it seems. Nonetheless, perfect solutions arouse suspicion, especially since politics have evidently reached a dead end. In economics, international relations, and domestic policy, no one knows what to do. Why are we in such a fix, if our understanding of basic principles is so advanced?

In fact, our problems go to the heart of public life and thought. Under such circumstances, we need to question positions that are now beyond discussion in respectable discourse. Hence the need for an alternative right.

Perfect solutions tyrannize, and life is too complex for experts to manage. That remains true even when we are promised a system of liberation based on expert knowledge. More and more, it seems that among us:

  • Freedom means comprehensive control of human relations so we don’t oppress each other.
  • Equality means rule by irresponsible and unrepresentative elites. Otherwise there’s no one to keep us equal.
  • Inclusiveness means distinctions can’t be allowed to matter, so they have to be destroyed or neutered.
  • Democracy means everyone has to be powerless. Otherwise, some would be more powerful than others and that wouldn’t be democratic.
  • Giving people what they want means destroying the goods they care about most, since those goods can’t be equal, optional, and externally manageable.
  • Reason means submission of the mind and will to expert pronouncements that always turn out to promote the power and authority of experts and bureaucrats.
  • Diversity means that people attached to nonliberal principles must be demonized as bigots and fundamentalists.

It’s evident something has gone wrong. But what?

The present situation reflects contradictions hidden in modern ideals. It thus has an essential intellectual component.

The problems have to do with the most basic issues: how we acquire knowledge, and how we choose our goals. Liberal modernity tries to be clear, rational, and progressive. With that in mind it tries to simplify things so they can be understood and put right.

That means it insists on making men and things manageable. As time goes by it finds more and more that needs reform, and becomes more and more demanding and intrusive. The result is that it goes to extremes and becomes tyrannical and destructive.

In particular, liberals insist on treating knowledge as strictly public and goods as strictly private. The alternative would be obscurantism and oppression—government based on claims of private knowledge that override individual preferences.

Knowledge, then, is public and scientific, while goods are personal and subjective. If you want to know what’s true, you ask the experts, who determine the answer by objective critical standards. As to questions of value, however, each of us defines his goods, chooses his goals, and pursues his purposes as freely as possible and however he wishes.

Such principles seem the quintessence of reason, but they have consequences that are much less reasonable. In particular, they tell us we have wants, and can’t satisfy them on our own, because our own knowledge isn’t reliable. As a result, somebody else has to arrange matters for us. It’s for our own benefit.

They also tell us that wants conflict, since they are individual and arbitrary, and we can’t resolve the conflicts for ourselves, since we just want what we want and there’s nothing to tell us what should give way to what. The conclusion is that someone else has to decide things for us. Experts have to cut our wants down to size and make sure we only want things that fit the smooth functioning of the system.

The result is that we live in perpetual tutelage. What was intended as freedom and equality becomes an odd sort of servitude. Kindergarten becomes the model for the whole of social life.

To avoid such a result, politics must be based on recognitions that are more realistic and less mindlessly simple:

  • Not everything can be reduced to a clear rational system, and not all impulses are equally good.
  • Goods and goals are partly social, since what’s on offer and what it’s worth depends partly on other people.
  • Knowledge is partly local, individual, and inarticulate, since not everything can be made explicit, noted down, and incorporated into expertise.
  • For that reason, much of our knowledge comes from experience and the resulting growth of habits that work.
  • More generally, our society learns through tradition, and as social beings we learn through participation in the traditions of our society.

The effect of such recognitions is fundamental rejection of liberal modernity. Since expert knowledge, social engineering, and subjective wants aren’t enough for social life, expertise, utility, and equal freedom can’t be the highest standards.

We need a different social ideal. Instead of an equal, free, efficient, and rational society, we need to aim at a society that functions normally in the way societies normally function. Such a society would feature legitimate tradition and particularity as ordering principles, along with the boundaries, exclusions, and authoritative attachments needed for them to function.

Such things are basic to every actual society but they are entirely inconsistent with equal freedom and utilitarian rationality as ultimate standards. The point of rejecting contemporary inclusivist liberalism, then, is to re-establish the intellectual preconditions of a society that works and makes sense.

To get started we need to go to the basics and:

  • Claim the right to define the problems. The point of politics is not getting rid of inequalities, it’s facilitating a life worth living. If you can’t talk about what makes life worth living, you can’t talk about politics.
  • Reclaim history. It’s not the story of human emancipation culminating in an ever more comprehensive system of global human rights. It’s the story of attempts to deal with problems and attain goods. As such, it has its victories and defeats, very few of which are unequivocal or irreversible.
  • Reclaim the concept of the normal. People may question what it includes, but we can’t get along without it, and tradition is the normal way to establish what it is.
  • Claim the high ground. We have little hope of achieving anything enduring unless we connect our views to grand principle and the common good. Men of good will should recognize the need for a normally functioning society. Why not insist on the point and keep it front and center?

Once those things are done there is still a huge amount to argue about. It’s clear that general antidiscrimination laws are bad, but those laws are part of something much larger. What do we do about that, and how do we fight it? For that matter, what do we do about technology? Religion? The idiocy of youth? The obstinacy of age? Current corruptions? Foreign threats? Actually-existing diversity? And should we aim at reform, revolution, or secession?

There’s a lot that needs doing. The basic point, though, is that the situation is hopeless until we lay claim to reason, history, and the public good. Battle cries, denunciations, and good strong blows may be fun and even useful, but they are subordinate. Opposing inclusiveness isn’t bigotry, it’s support for what is normal and human. Our first need is to make fruitful discussion possible, among ourselves, with others, and in response to objections. And it is that goal that an alternative right must emphasize if it is to define itself and achieve anything that matters.

12 thoughts on “Toward an Anti-Inclusivist Right”

  1. Democracy is intrinsically hostile to Christianity
    You will be familar with the following passage from Nihilism by Eugene (Fr Seraphim) Rose (from

    “In the Christian order politics too was founded upon absolute truth. We have already seen, in the preceding chapter, that the principal providential form government took in union with Christian Truth was the Orthodox Christian Empire, wherein sovereignty was vested in a Monarch, and authority proceeded from him downwards through a hierarchical social structure. We shall see in the next chapter, on the other hand, how a politics that rejects Christian Truth must acknowledge “the people” as sovereign and understand authority as proceeding from below upwards, in a formally “egalitarian” society. It is clear that one is the perfect inversion of the other; for they are opposed in their conceptions both of the source and of the end of government. Orthodox Christian Monarchy is government divinely established, and directed, ultimately, to the other world, government with the teaching of Christian Truth and the salvation of souls as its profoundest purpose; Nihilist rule—whose most fitting name, as we shall see, is Anarchy—is government established by men, and directed solely to this world, government which has no higher aim than earthly happiness.

    “The Liberal view of government, as one might suspect, is an attempt at compromise between these two irreconcilable ideas. In the 19th century this compromise took the form of “constitutional monarchies,” an attempt—again—to wed an old form to a new content; today the chief representatives of the Liberal idea are the “republics” and “democracies” of Western Europe and America, most of which preserve a rather precarious balance between the forces of authority and Revolution, while professing to believe in both.

    “It is of course impossible to believe in both with equal sincerity and fervor, and in fact no one has ever done so. Constitutional monarchs like Louis Philippe thought to do so by professing to rule “by the Grace of God and the will of the people”—a formula whose two terms annul each other, a fact as equally evident to the Anarchist[5] as to the Monarchist.

    “Now a government is secure insofar as it has God for its foundation and His Will for its guide; but this, surely, is not a description of Liberal government. It is, in the Liberal view, the people who rule, and not God; God Himself is a “constitutional monarch” Whose authority has been totally delegated to the people, and Whose function is entirely ceremonial. The Liberal believes in God with the same rhetorical fervor with which he believes in Heaven. The government erected upon such a faith is very little different, in principle, from a government erected upon total disbelief, and whatever its present residue of stability, it is clearly pointed in the direction of Anarchy.

    “A government must rule by the Grace of God or by the will of the people, it must believe in authority or in the Revolution; on these issues compromise is possible only in semblance, and only for a time. The Revolution, like the disbelief which has always accompanied it, cannot be stopped halfway; it is a force that, once awakened, will not rest until it ends in a totalitarian Kingdom of this world. The history of the last two centuries has proved nothing if not this.” [end of exerpt]

    I think this analysis is likely to be true – and, if so, points to the funadamental weakness of all existing (nominally) Christian or Western Societies. Does it not imply that Islam is correct in the assumption that over the long term some kind of unified single-hierarchy theocratic monarchy will prevail?

    Another point made by Rose is that impartiality is impossible; which entails – inter alia – that a society, a state, will either support or suppress Christianity; and therefore that once a society has ceased explicitly to support and promote Christainity it will de facto begin suppressing it.

    And therefore that suppression of Christianity is an inevitable consequence of democracy, an intrinsic property of democracy?

    • It’s liberalism, not democracy
      Fr. Seraphim speaks somewhat as if “who whom” were the basic question in politics. I don’t think that’s right. The Book of Judges shows you can have theocratic anarchy, and North Korea shows you can have totalitarian communist hereditary monarchy.

      For that matter, Iran shows that you can have an Islamic theocracy with powers divided between religious and secular authorities, independent newspapers, elections that feature competition for votes by independent political parties, etc. Islamic jurisprudence has played somewhat the same role liberal jurisprudence does here: keeping the system in line with itself and directed toward its goal, but without establishing a unified single-hierarchy monarchy. (The system seems to be breaking down, but so far as I can tell it worked for a while and most systems eventually break down especially in that part of the world.)

      To my mind the basic question is less who specifically is making decisions than the setting in which they are made—that is, the nature of political, moral, and social reality. I’d agree that on that point neutrality is impossible. There has to be some basic common understanding of what’s what for effective orderly government to exist.

      Here in the West we have such an understanding. Present-day Western governments are liberal rather than democratic. They’re not based on the will of the people in any substantive sense, they’re based on the principle of equal freedom.

      Someone might say that means they’re based on the will of the people individually rather than collectively. A problem with that formulation is that the individual will is subject to lots and lots of restrictions to make it consistent with other individual wills and the coherence and efficiency of the system. It ends up narrowly constrained. That’s what PC and the tyranny of liberalism are all about.

      With that in mind, I think it’s best to say that present-day Western governments are based not on rule by the people but on a particular metaphysical understanding and moral logic: there are no goods that transcend particular desire, so particular desire defines what is rationally worth going after. Since all desires of all men are equally desires, they equally deserve satisfaction whatever they may be. It follows that the point of morality, social order, government etc. is maximum equal satisfaction of desire. That’s what present-day Western governments say they deliver to us, and that’s what they believe justifies their rule.

      That’s also why the point of elections in present-day liberal “democracy” isn’t to tell the government what specifically to do, as if government were simply the servant of the people. It’s to manifest the consent of the people on several points:

      1. The principle of equal freedom as the ultimate social, moral, and political standard,
      2. Government as defender and enforcer of that standard, and
      3. The particular plans and people chosen to further the goals of government.

      On the first two points the consent is mostly ritualistic. If the people give the wrong answer that’s illegitimate. They’ve discredited themselves. To some extent the same is true on the third point, at least when the governing classes generally agree on something. Obvious examples include issues related to equality and inclusion and to the development of the EU.

      If voters come out the wrong way on those issues then the people who run things have to be do something to fix the situation—intensify the propaganda, change the way the issues are presented, remove questions from the sphere of voting by declaring them a matter of expert determination or individual right, whatever. So it seems pretty clear that whatever the problem is it isn’t democracy.

      • PC is recent
        I tend to regard liberalism as a species of nihilism, denial of reality, therefore ultimately based on secularism.

        PC and the tyranny of liberalism are, I think, recent phenomena (‘tho’ with roots in the past) specifically it only began to become powerful with the New Left of the mid 1960s. The traditional socialism/ communism had a very different flavour – and was (eg in its Fabian form) indeed openly meritocratic; believing in rule by an elite of the talented (which they assumed would have a very different constitution from the old aristocracy and upper middle class).

        Socialist egalitarianism was mostly focused on equality of opportunity. The pioneers of IQ measurement were ‘meritocratic’ socialists (usually eugenicists) who wanted a test which would measure cognitive ability pretty-much regardless of a person’s educational experience – and they succeeded. IQ predicted academic succes, job aptitude and many other desirable attributes such as lack of criminality and long life.

        However, it turned out that IQ was not equal between social classes.

        The upper classes had higher IQ in a stepwise fashion, so there was *already* a substantial meritocracy, and this process was complete by the mid 1960s. In the UK, US and W Europe – by the mid-1960s – society was about as meritocratic as was possible in an imperfect world, and absolute poverty had been abolished.

        The left had a choice of declaring their job done and themselves obsolete- or mutating and surviving. Naturally they chose the second option. And in the mid 1960s the left underwent a massive change away from aiming at meritocratic equality of opportunity and towards enforcing equality of outcome – egalitarianism. From this time onwards the left has been fundamentally dishonest and incoherent – and PC began to emerge at that time with a New Left based on a rainbow coalition of the ‘isms’.

        PC and coercive liberalism can only survive by lying about the facts; I regard PC and tyrannical liberalism not as philosophical but *electoral*: they are a pragmatic excuse for pandering to groups of voters, an excuse for buying votes, an excuse for creating dependence on the state.

        But, for the left, any excuse will do: ‘stimulus’, for example – works just the same as PC; and pandering to unions continues as well.

        These arise, ultimately, from democracy; and democracy from secularism of the state – an alternative way of generating legitimacy from divine kingship.

        Modern liberals are secular, this-worldly, hedonists whose primary, bottom-line virtue (and it is a real virtue) is kindness (Richard Rorty wrote clearly on this – liberalism as primarily relief of pain/ suffering/ humiliation – he was clear on this if on nothing else) – but (as the ancient Greeks knew) any virtue becomes evil when pursued in isolation and without limit.

        So although the elite are in charge, as always; they are pushed inevitably in certain directions by the need to generate mass support enough to get elected.

        Their hedonism is also sophisticated by the need not only to feel good, but to ‘feel good about oneself’ – they need to feel good about feeling good. This is the bottom line hedonism of the intellectual elite.

        Their latest discovery is that subsidizing mass immigration of a permanent underclass will create a permament majority – this combines neatly with the massive state power required to enforce equality of outcomes under on radically unequal groups. They can then create permanent injustices which they can permanently try, and fail, to solve – forever (I’m tempted to coin a phrase equivalent to Orwell’s ‘boot stamping on a human face – forever’; ‘an elite state bureaucracy enforcing affirmative action quotas – forever’, perhaps?)

        So the left is a parasite – and the greater its success, the faster it will destroy the modernity which generated it.

        Another point is that in these analyses we need only consider societies which have survived for at least a few generations – post-revoltuionary Iran and North Korea do not count. Any nonsense can survive for a few decades. Indeed modernity is only 8 generations old and has never reached a stable equilibrium (indeed it imploded after only about 4 generations and barely survived).

        In the long term of a few generations, modernity seems set to collapse; and the world is likely to return to static agrarian societies of varying sizes – from gangs and clans up to international empires, as the world was from the invention of agriculture up to a few hundred years ago.

        • Let’s imagine a rebirth of certain tradition
          Let us imagine that some Americans follow your proposition in regards to what appear to be your own views.

          Namely – imagine a restoration of a traditional Protestant view of Roman Catholicism to the mainstream of public life. There would be good modern support for this, notably in the child abuse coverup stories. There are Protestant abusers too, but the coverup part is papist. And yes, I say papist, and I say it again – if you are RC you are a papist. You see, I am Protestant, and you just told me political correctness was wrong,

          So let us imagine that a good honest Elizabethan understanding of the popish danger takes root again. Let us say people choose to shun papists, and bar them from office where possible. After all, they don’t want to deal with people controlled by some sort of big ghastly hierarchy headed by an infallible dictator in Rome. The very hierarchy that oppressed free thought for centuries, that burned true believers like John Hus, etc. And most importantly, papists can never be expected to be truly loyal to the society they live in – and you have just stressed how important this society is. History, notably of Elizabethan England, shows how an order from Rome can make papists into traitors in the blink of an eye!

          Surely a papist is more dangerous than a mere adulterer – an adulterer betrays but a family at the call of a usual whore, a papist is ready to betray all of society at the call of the Whore of Babylon.

          So, would you like to live in such a world? If not, perhaps you should not throw stones while living in a glass house.

          • Welcome to the human condition
            People whose basic outlook is radically at odds with the one established are always going to have problems. Suppose people shunned racist sexist homophobes, and barred them from responsible positions whenever possible. Suppose in Canada and the EU such people got fined or even imprisoned simply for saying what they think about things. That’s the world we live in right now.

            Naturally I’d prefer that people always acted moderately and justly when they make distinctions, just as I’m sure you’d prefer that armies, the police, and people with lots of money always acted moderately, justly, and in accordance with the public good. Suppose though it turns out that they often don’t, and there are often huge problems as a result. Would you demand that government and private property be abolished?

  2. Possibilities about going forward
    Kalb has done a large and important work on political philosophy and perhaps almost exhausted the “choice and equality” topic. These texts deserve wide and educated readership.

    (Notice: Filter in your mind from the following books any and all atheism, liberal and socialist distortions and biases, etc.)

    What the educated readership could contemplate? Perhaps the following:

    Systemic analysis —> simplicity/ complexity. Liberalism (science, philosophy, economy etc. as it’s steering methods) is a striving to solve complex organizational, institutional, environmental, production etc. problems, especially in the large cities. Thus complexity of centralized organizations increase. We are coming closer to the point where additional complexities’ marginal utility is zero or negative, i.e. the costs equal or exceed the benefits.


    Functional analysis —> Different methods of concrete power affecting individuals and groups. State, enterprises, organizations, hospitals, ngo’s etc., and their methods of operation. E.g. How a large mall is arranged as a representative of the system (concisely a couple of examples):

    – The mall can provide everything a person needs, housing in hotels, physical activity in gyms, food from grocery stores, all kinds of basic and luxury things, medical doctor services, restaurants, entertainment etc. The more the person is serviced there, the less he knows how to provide himself with those things generally and those things in particular that are necessary to him. The services and wares correspond to his every need and more, even sexual needs. There is always more product and service choices than what the person will ever use in his life, e.g. (imaginary number examples) if person needs and uses 100 products and services in the mall, there are ten thousand different products and services. This creates an artificial feeling of freedom, although the person is trapped inside the system, doesn’t know about different possibilities or alternatives to the system, or how to even think about such things, either competitors inside or outside the system, or total replacements of the present system. I am referring here to the indigenous functional and efficient Western alternatives, not to different non-Western cultures, religions and peoples, or communists/ socialists. He probably works in such a thin slice of divided labor task that alone or with even a fairly large group of similar people he would be helpless and would likely die if destiny or ill will hurled him/them apart from complex society. He is very dependent on the system, but the system doesn’t need him or any other individual person. He is easily exchangeable to other persons of similar skills, and to the system his function is to produce and consume as much as possible, measured, evaluated and organized by monetary calculation. The person’s every need is produced, monetized and sold to him. Dependency makes the person de facto almost powerless and insignificant relative to the system, and the system very powerful towards the individual.

    – Arrangement of the space and other things in the mall. The mall fills the whole sensory universe of the individual. Selling is everywhere around him. If there are windows, they are high above him to let light in and to reduce possible claustrophobia, but they very rarely detract his gaze from the marketing and selling. There are many people moving in constant flows, who uninterruptedly buy different things. This creates a strong psychological social proof to be there and to buy things. There are always restaurants and more or less intoxicating substances; tea, coffee and alcohol. Eating and slight intoxication makes the surroundings look better and leaves a positive memory also to the future. The positive psychological feelings created by eating and slight intoxication increases giving and buying (thus the money raising charity dinners). There are two or three public clocks; just enough to remove the possible uneasiness of not knowing the time, but not constantly reminding of pressing timetables. Water closets are clean, there are many of them, there is always paper and soap, there is air conditioning, so that these needs influence buying as little as possible. The temperature, humidity and cleanliness of air is regulated in the mall to be pleasant. Floors are kept clean with constant cleaning. Strong luminous lamps make colors look brighter and more enticing. There are guards who give fast and reliable security despite the large masses of people, so that people doesn’t have to watch other people and be careful in the same way than in e.g. outdoor public party. Thus because all of these the person can direct his attention maximally and without distractions to the products and services.

    – Products and packages are scientifically psychologically tested; what colors, sizes, shapes, texts and positioning of these produces the highest selling. 98% of brain functions are subconscious and independent of will. Many things influence people without their knowledge or against their will. Brains process sensory data that people are not aware of. E.g. almost any mental connection of a product to sex increases it’s selling and makes people to view it more positively. Thus e.g. Camel cigarettes have Joe Camel symbol, whose head resembles male genitals or connected male and female genitals:

    And in the traditional logo of Camel the front legs of the camel contains male legs and genitals:

    The highest profit products are positioned in shelfs to the eye level of average adults, middle profit products slightly higher or lower than eye level, and lower profit products nearer to the floor.

    The most expensive and more rarely bought products are positioned in big shops near the entrances so that people see them always when they go to buy daily cheap, mostly food products, which are placed farthest from the entrances.


    Many kinds of psychological manipulations and methods are normal and ubiquitous in marketing.


    Interesting historical account from the 1950s Usa (already then marketing psychology, and largely thus liberal hedonism and overconsumption was this advanced):

    – Individual and mostly atomized buyers and sellers in the mall make demands to the system. Their demands are in essence personal and detached from other people and social groups, and thus detached from responsibility, sustainability, long term views, loyalties, honor, reciprocity etc. These are combined spontaneously or through organizations to collective influence streams which affect the system and then act back upon the people. In the combining, affecting and then reflecting back process the original demands change. Individual buyer may have wanted e.g. only cheaper products, but system reflecting them back to individuals imports cheap labor; outsources; massively industrializes and dehumanizes old age homes and animal farms; competes distant, multiple and radically different labor forces again and again against each other; etc. Individual seller may have wanted only more, in reality in his mind abstract, customers, but the system starts massive immigration; creates high density mega cities (more customers condensed to a small area); creates environmental problems; increases the size and complexity of complex, large and hierarchical organizations and reduces the complexity of their environment (atomizes social groups; simplifies and homogenizes culture; tries to de facto eliminate potential competitors of liberalism, like Christianity and white ethnic groups; turns forests to parks with roads or perhaps to industrial or suburb areas; centralizes; makes the flow of power from “elites” to the atomized indviduals more efficient and stronger, but at the same time more invisible to them; etc.) and thus increases the power of liberal large and complex organizations.

    “Elites” largely controlling and steering the system have their own interests and demands, which often coincide with the collective demands of atomized individuals, because they give the most profit and work opportunities to the “elites”. If there is no coincidence, “elites” try and mostly succeed in subverting popular opinion in different ways. People are too dependent on the system, including everything from their jobs to the information from media and scientists, almost their whole reality, that they can resist feebly at most.

    The communication, influence and power turns to de facto one-way direction, from “elites” to the atomized individuals. Individuals start to alienate from the system and it’s goals. System becames inhuman, deaf, distant, and too centralized and powerful to the subjects.

    – “Elites” concatenate to the best of their ability these single phenomenons to controlled, almost automatic, seemingly spontaneously arising “from the environment” and largely taken for granted processes.


    These were examples how liberal power operates.

    Some books dealing with different aspects of power, these can be mostly applied to many different fields, e.g. Psychiatric Power to other fields of power:

    This last topic is often ignored, but it is very important to the operation of power:


    Ps. Two questions to James Kalb:

    How law operates as a power?

    I ordered your book about four months ago from a book shop. Has your book run out of copies or has the book wholesaler or retailer censored your book?

    • Thanks for the mall-as-metaphor account
      As to the questions:

      1. It’s hard to give a full account of how law operates as a power. It’s integrated with the general operation of society so it ties in with everything.

      That’s especially true today. The tendency is toward a single universal minute system of organization based in the end on very simple principles. That way it’s possible for the law to control everything without much overt force. For the most part that’s the practical meaning of democracy.

      People like to comply with authority because that way they can say they’re good people who do legitimate things not only from their own point of view but from the point of view generally accepted. So the single universal system has to extend to ideas as well. Otherwise it will be necessary to use overt force and democratic legitimacy will be lost. Hence compulsory tolerance, diversity, etc. Differences that seem fundamental can’t be allowed to matter so they have to be transformed.

      2. I’ve heard complaints about problems getting the book from other people too. Don’t know what the problem is. I’ve complained before. Maybe the best thing would be for you to email the marketing director at ISI and give him the details of the problem and ask what to do. (Let me know if you continue to have problems.)

      • James,
        Mall can serve as metaphor too, like Panopticon is a metaphor and ideal type of surveillance state:

        But, I would emphasize that mall is also liberal power in it’s most concentrated, practical and pure form.

        It is often thought that power is “out there” somewhere, those powerful liberal “elites” and highest leaders have it and work on it, and we are outside of the whole business of power. Just the bad consequences of their power and decisions reach us and bother us.

        But we, the people, are the ones ruled. We must be managed, regulated and channeled. We are the recipients of continuous flow of power in many forms. We have internalized power to our thinking and emotions without knowing about it.

        Who has power? Person who has: 1. Larger power in single issue. 2. Multi-issue power. Multi-issue power mostly exceeds that of larger power in single issue, but there might be important exceptions, e.g. single-issue power in important intersections of society’s functions 3. Context transcending power generally exceeds context bound power. Power can be bound to certain times, situations, conditions etc. 4. Power that produces intended consequences + unintended consequences generally exceeds power that produces only intended consequences. If the unintended consequences are positive, it might increase profits, enjoyment, deference, appreciation etc. of different parties. If the unintended consequences are negative, it might compell others to negotiate and make concessions. 5. Inactive enjoyment of power generally exceeds that of active exercise of power. Active exercise (surveillance, observation, quality control, coercion, regulation, giving orders and instructions etc.) of power consumes time, energy and resources. When others have internalized power, and know in advance what the powerful person wants and then do it, or have internalized power without knowing it is power then do according to it, this expands and strenghtens the power of the leader and saves his time, energy and resources.

        Power is also influence; charisma; knowledge and skill; ability to select issues to decision making or prevent them from it; ability to prevent issues from arising at all to public debate and knowledge, and to select the desired public knowledge; ability to create such internalized emotional and informational states in public that they want, ostensibly from “their own free will” what the leader/ leaders want, even if it is against people’s interests; etc.

        How a modern mall, designed with the help of marketing psychologists, economists, sociologists, political economists etc., is to be viewed?

        Americans seem to use the expression: “Grab them by their, and their minds will follow”. The idea here is that the brutal force, pain and deference to raw power will coerce the person or group to submission and compliance. But the problem here is that the person doesn’t like the pain; doesn’t want it to be applied; doesn’t like the person applying it; these are not his choices, what he would choose freely; is always painfully aware of these factors and processes, and is very likely to start to resist in many ways; by inefficiency, slowness, sabotage, hateful attitude, covertly or openly defiant and disparaging talk, plotting, influencing things to change, open violence, trying to overthrow the oppressor etc.

        So the liberals change that expression approximately to:

        – Make the system more or less correspond to or replace or redirect to artificiality the needs, wants, strivings, insecurities, lusts, removal of irritating or unsatisfactory things, etc. naturally and inevitably occurring in humans.

        – Excite these closer to the maximum with almost everything that is in public space (authorities, experts, entertainment, advertising, alluring products and services, law, education, public morals, social proof, designs of malls, etc.) and at the same time channel these to hedonistic and profitable overcomsumption of wares and services.

        – Make sure as much as possible every human activity is spend to the monetized choices offered by the system. E.g. Americans from three hundred years ago would have thought that doing useless and unproductive work and then paying for it is insane, to say the least. Now it is normalcy in gyms and other sport places. And sedentary immobile lifestyles creates pressures towards it. Make sure there is always considerably more choices offered by the system than what the single persons can use in his life to create illusion of freedom. Create profitable loops, e.g. developing alcoholism in restaurants —> treatment by psychologists, psychiatric hospitals, medicines, self-help books, courses, etc. —> after some time again developing alcoholism in restaurants —> etc. Create profitable processess, e.g. empty endless development towards colorful nothing, like new age “spiritual” humbug and the endless products and services it requires.

        Notice: Create here doesn’t mean that “elites” create or produce e.g. new age humbug themselves. They just create the conditions that will unavoidable produce countless such humbugs. Their exact contents are insignificant to the “elites” as long as they are monetizable, calculable (consequence of monetizing; calculation can be used in evaluations, comparisons, steering of resources, complex multi-part operations and processes, allocation of capital, etc.) profitable, non-threatening to the “elites” and fit to the liberal philosophy.

        – Remove, neutralize, weaken, illegalize, demonize, forbid, stigmatize etc. those institutions, factors, social groups, identities, traditions, religions, hierarchies etc. which inhibit, prevent, adjust, control, regulate etc., and thus weaken hedonistic overconsumption. Finance, allow, legalize, support, give prizes and acknowledgement, create from scratch, give publicity, advertize, make authority figures support etc. any of those who directly of indirectly support liberalism and liberal consumption.

        – Make the power invisible. The individual himself chooses; himself wants to, himself goes to; himself asks and/or “learns” from liberal authorities and experts; himself satisfies himself etc. Normally nobody coerces directly. Make him think that the environment he lives in is normal; the endless subtle manipulations and their aggregate effects he is not aware of anyway and the most vivid manipulations are just “normal” everyday parts of environment and human variation. The rare thinking person will perhaps sometimes stop to think about and even more rarely to condemn the most vivid and outrageous manipulations, but will soon walk on. “It is normal, whatdoyoudo?” The most vivid and outrageous manipulations make by psychological contrast principle other slightly less vivid and outrageous manipulations seem more normal.

        – Make sure that people expend their time, will and energy to work, entertainment, buying and consumption, families, hobbies, sports, restaurants, status competition (connected unnaturally almost exclusively to liberal consumption), spouse competition etc., so thoroughly that there is no time, will and energy to resist seriously the “elites”. Make sure that liberal lifestyles make people spoiled, ignorant, soft and weak, and thus easily controllable and meek. Democracy is about media fed masses choosing one option from different liberals and giving voluntary acceptance and legitimation to the whole system, it’s ultimate illusion of freedom and choice. The distilled content of popular demand is “We want more (of the same)” The ultimate legitimation of the system is the demand “We want more (of the same)”, not the voting.

        – Because only the continuous hedonistic consumption keeps the atomized, incompatibly different and liberalized people together in the system and the system running, there is no loyalty to the system. The system is weak and fragile. To counter this the liberal consumption and togetherness of atomized people become dictatorial principles and any threat to it extreme. Thus the extreme stigmatization and suppression of opponents and the constant increasing of soft and possibly later hard totalitarianism.


        • Function and implicit design

          “Create here doesn’t mean that “elites” create or produce e.g. new age humbug themselves. They just create the conditions that will unavoidable produce countless such humbugs.”

          I think this touches on a basic point. The way the system works isn’t laid out in The Protocols of the Elders of Liberalism or some such. It has to do with a few basic principles like means/ends rationality and the subjectivity of the good that are applied repetitively, that seem equivalent to rationality itself, and that eat up all earlier understandings of man, society, the good, beautiful and true, etc.

          The result is that power becomes invisible. If you view the matter from the standpoint of a different understanding of man and the good then it becomes visible again but when you describe it you sound like some sort of crazed paranoid. It’s like telling somebody about the rules of his language and the implicit ontology and epistemology behind his beliefs when so far as he’s concerned he’s making some obvious comments about what’s in front of him.

        • Reply to an Alternative Right comment
          There was a quite good sarcastic comment in Alternative Right (Shrinks and Hipster Liberalism -thread) mocking indirectly my texts in this thread . I am not referring to the comment’s good quality, but what it tells about comprehension of many in the present generations. They are quite historyless (knowing history enables valuable comparisons, idea developments and choices), they have fairly limited alternatives in their minds to different things and they deem the present to be largely self evident given.

          Is serving of alcohol, especially without food, self-evident in malls? Alcohol is risky, it might cause disturbances. Malls are dependent on their peaceful atmosphere despite thousands of people walking around. One larger disturbance can spoil the easy feeling of large number of people in mall, cause injuries to some and damages to things. Serving of alcohol might attract too much wrong kind of people, who are anti-social even without alcohol. Even if people using alcohol don’t cause large enough disturbances to cause guard intervening, they often have lowered standards, they litter, spit, make things fall, bump into people, speak loudly stupid and nasty things etc. and hence lower the standards of the mall. The mall is dependent on people moving in cars, and alcohol serving restaurants can increase the likelihood of car accidents in the parking lot of mall and the vicinity of mall. Etc. The modern mall owners can’t just decide straightaway that they want everything to be in the mall and nothing outside it, they have to make in each case careful pro and con calculations, plan how processes and policies are arranged securely, profit being of course the ultimate goal. Shop keepers, restaurant owners and other sellers must sign a contract defining their obligations and code of conducts, and risky businesses, especially predominantly alcohol serving restaurants are regulated more than others, both by mall owners and state bureaucrats. I don’t know the exact contents of these contracts and they are probably secret in a sense that they are kept between mall owner and sellers.

          Having observed the policies of mainly alcohol serving restaurants (I drink a little bit alcohol only two-three times a year, I am coffee-fueled) and their surroundings in the biggest malls in Finland, and talked about these things with friends, I can say the generalized following. Their waiters are pushy, actively starting to sell the next serving of alcohol before the previous is finished and repeating this several times. They also try to offer food several times despite “No thank you”. When customer stops ordering they politely ask the customer to leave, giving fairly transparent excuses. The idea is that customer drinks fast quite much, but not too much, preferably eats to poison the effect of alcohol (+ profit from food) and then leaves immeadiately, without having time and feeling “to plan and cause troubles”. Also at least one of the guards is always watching the restaurant scene. The Bar desk and chairs are placed in such a way that waiters see easily all customers and there are no partition walls to obstruct view. If trouble starts slowly cooking inside a customer, waiters immeaditely ask him to leave before any real trouble and ask the guards to walk him if necessary. The chairs are not too comfortable, so as not to entice customer to long drinking sessions. There are other factors supporting these directions of processes.

          Mainly alcohol serving restaurants could be placed outside the mall, fairly close in the same area, but they are not.

          We could ask such ostensibly unimportant questions as why the WC’s are cleaned, supplied and checked three-four times a day and the floors cleaned constantly. The WC’s have supplies that last at least several days and the floors don’t look dirty when they are cleaned. Why not save money used in cleaning and increase profits? Or is it so that when every aspect of mall is polished and adjusted to the maximum, the profits are greater? The sum of influence of everything on people, although people never notice anything out of ordinary.

          Have you noticed those cute pushcarts for children in stores? They are there so that the little ones can learn useful tasks and have fun in the store, right? Well, no. They are there so that the children collect items to the pushcart. Inevitably near the counter mom says to the child that he can’t have those, they must be put back. The child starts to cry loudly. To avoid difficult public scene, mom let’s the little one to have 2-4 items. Sum all comparable situations in a year and there is clear increase in profits.

          You have never participated in any marketing study, so that you don’t help marketing psychologists to create new tricks? Who knows; you can be filmed surreptitiously, everything you do in the store. What product you watch and/or take to your hands and how long you hold it, what kind of movements you do, what routes you take, do you read small text from the package, etc. The more dilated your pupils are and the slower the rate of blinking of eyes in a minute, the more pleased you are.

          You always resist in your mind when somebody tries to market, sell or advertize something to you, so you only buy those products you genuinely want? Marketing psychologists already know that and the methods to counter that “correction towards normal” are numerous. One example. Advertisements, labels, marketers and sales people can use certain keywords and structured sentences, certain images and shapes, certain postures and gestures (priming) which activate different automatic subconscious reactions and emotions. Because these never enter your consciousness, you can’t do the conscious correction towards normal. Not only these inveigle to buy, they can change the product. E.g. in a study (Plassman, 2008) marketing researcher served same wine in two bottles, one cheap looking and said to cost 10$, other expensive looking and said to cost 90$. Plassman used MRI scan to study the consequent neural activity. The supposedly more expensive wine generated more activity in medial orbitofrontal cortex, i.e. it tasted better and created more pleasure.


          I point out that almost everything I dealt with in these texts have multiple uses. So e.g. WC’s are in malls also because of the obvious reason that people can spend there long time and drink beverages. This might obscure the understanding of many.

          What’s the problem then? Shouldn’t we just drink our cheap coffee in expensive bottle and be happy that it tastes so good? The problem is that almost everything in our lives and almost all our internalizations are governed, organized, manipulated, directed and “rationalized” by these large complex organizations, whether private, state or international bureaucracies, or large ngo networks. Everything inside the system and nothing outside the system. No alternatives to large complex organizations. Monopoly. Accept, or …

      • Thank you for the answers.
        It seems to me that many of the insights in your articles are informed by your law knowledge. E.g. that human rights are not gifts to people, like they are made to seem, but explicit prohibitions and limitations to people, backed by punishments of law.

        When I have listened to different high status judges and lawyer talk in media and leafed initially through many books written by them, conspicuosly many quote and use Foucault’s texts, concepts and ideas. Presumably it is because Foucault illuminates the functions of society and their cooperation, the system, and thus gives ingredients to interpetation, understanding and design of laws. That is my impression after having read some of his books.

        What I have not seen among traditional conservatives or other real conservatives, is systematic analysis of society’s functions and the system. This is, I think, a serious shortcoming, and gives many advantages to liberals. You have done excellent traditional conservative philosophical analysis. I liked also e.g. Pantagruel’s thorough Freud analysis. There were useful things in The Scorpion, but I didn’t like the coarse atheism there. Vallicella is superb writer, but the articles are quite short and the topics are fairly random. Paul Gottfried is a first rate writer, but perhaps a little bit off the target considering this topic. Etc. Have I missed something?

        I can write something now and then, like here, but like a massive black hole, Finland takes my time and energy. Also my slightly dyslexic English and foreign nationality creates obstacles to understanding and acceptance.

        Law and the functional and system analysis of society fit well together. Hence I wonder what kind of ideas and insights Foucault, Tainter and other comparable writers would give to you. Although the topics are different, e.g. Psychiatric Power alone could tell you if it is a project worth continuing. Well, carried water doesn’t stay in a well, so it is of course up to you.


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